Akwa Ibom Isong o! Let’s give it up for all the Akwa Ibomites in the house. Today we are taking you on a trip to ‘Akwa Ibom State to let you experience the state’s interesting culture, people (the Ibibios) and lifestyle. A beautiful blend of these three attributes can be experienced during events as in their traditional weddings. Ibibio Traditional Marriages are super fun and what I call ‘staged’. It’s pretty much like getting married in a stage play. The bride and groom play lead characters and they treat the guests to a special play. Most fascinating about this mini-play is the spice that the Ibibio culture adds to it as every segment is of cultural significance. In this play, you will be well entertained; there will be suspense and definitely a story to take away.
We have curated for you our top three cultural takeaways from Ibibio Traditional marriages and as a bonus, an Ibibio TM Lookbook. So go ahead and enjoy a culture treat guys.
This is a little pre-event held prior to the main event and it is pretty much a food spree. A show of the bride’s cooking prowess as she treats her inlaws-to-be to a diverse food segment. It is a table decorated with all sorts of food from Edita Iwa ye Mmansang (tapioca and groundnuts), Eben ye Akpakpa (pear and corn), Afia efere (white soup) and pounded yam, Afang, Ekpang Nkukwo, Atama, to Edikan Ikong, and other assorted traditional dishes. Udia Ibenghe literally means ‘the preparatory meal’ – The first meal before the husband starts a home with his wife.
The Dramatic Groom Test
As hilarious as this segment may seem, it is a significant feature during Ibibio Traditional Marriages. In this segment the groom is put through a test that requires him to prove that his priority lies with his bride. He is asked witty questions like:
‘If your wife’s wrapper was falling off from her body and at the same time her baby too, which would you prevent from falling to the floor? The baby or the wrapper?’
Also, in other dramatic exercises he’s required to prove his manhood as a groom. This is one of the most hilarious segments as grooms that come from other states may tend to feel embarrassed. Hello there Mr. Tubaba kindly tell us how you pulled through.
The Epic Bride Search
In this segment, the bride has to be identified through an epic suspense-filled search. The family of the bride make this search interesting by presenting different ‘fake’ brides in a series of reveals and a representative of the groom’s family is made to identify who the real bride is. Usually none of them turns out to be the bride but the interesting thing about this is that the guests are entertained by the series of appearances made by the ‘fake brides’ and each time, the bride’s family requests for transport money to go find the real bride.
These, for us are the best takeaways but the drama goes on and on. You’ll need to ask your Ibibio friend to tell you the full story of how Ibibio weddings play out.
…and for the love of Ibibio traditional marriages, here is a bonus Trado Lookbook!
Photo credit: IG | @calabarweddings
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